Athlete Profile: Allie Nichols

Although the volleyball team may not always experience success on the court, the same cannot be said for its players off of it. Senior captain Allie Nichols exemplifies the Colgate student-athlete.

A Sacramento, CA, native, Nichols has been one of the stars of the volleyball team during her tenure at Colgate, earning the Most Inspirational Player and Most Valuable Offensive Player awards during her junior season. Playing on the volleyball team undoubtedly shaped her college experience in a positive manner.

“Being on the team definitely helped develop a close-knit group of friends from day one,” Nichols said. “My best friends are all athletes and former athletes. It helps to have people who have to balance a huge commitment along with school as friends.”

Despite being a continent away from home, Nichols, an art history major, has nothing but fond memories of her Colgate experience.

“I always wanted a small school and wanted to play Division I sports, so I really got the best of both worlds here,” she said. “Playing volleyball, I really had to grow up and be a role model, especially in the last two years. Off the court, I’ve learned responsibility through academics and even during the off-season with volleyball.”

Balancing the pressures of academics with athletics is a daunting task for most, but Nichols, like most things in her life, has handled it with relative ease.

“Sometimes it was a little overwhelming to have the pressure of sports and school, but being committed to both has taught me so much,” she said. “I always have done better academically during the season because it forces me to manage my time better.”

As graduation looms, Nichols is preparing for life after Colgate. In terms of her post-graduation plans, she has yet to make a decision.

“Right now the decision is where I want to be,” Nichols said. “Since I’m from California, I am tempted to be there, but New York City is also really appealing. Once I figure that out, I can find a job.”

In addition to the academic preparation, life on the court also prepared Nichols for the future. Life without it, however, will be tough.

“One of the biggest adjustments after college is definitely going to be coping with not being on a team,” she said. “It’s been my life for as long as I can remember. I think having my social circle be a product of my involvement in sports has been the most significant thing I have gained from playing volleyball.”

When asked about the most memorable moments of her career, Nichols recalled two games.

“I will always remember when we beat Bucknell the last game of the season during my sophomore year,” she said. “They’re our biggest rival and we beat them in four games. It’s always great having a lot of fans and being able to put on a good show for them. Also, our last game this year was really emotional and memorable. Even though we lost by only a few points, we were such a close team this year and it was really hard knowing that I wouldn’t be a Raider volleyball player after that night. The commitment you have is only really understood by those people, and what it means to be on that team is something that I share with all of those girls.”

The team, and more importantly, the entire Colgate community will miss Nichols next year. She has been a tremendous contributor to the school and will undoubtedly find continued success wherever she goes.